Fresh, Fruity, Green, and Floral--all naturally so
Annick Goutal PETITE CHERIE is an excellent example of why people who fall for this house really fall for it. Everything is here in one package: freshness, fruitiness, greenness, florality. That may not sound so amazing in these days of lab-produced perfumes, but in the case of PETITE CHERIE, it all smells entirely natural and not at all abstract.
I suppose that the peach in this composition must be synthetic--that's what I've heard about fruit notes in general--but it smells fresh, like the fuzz of a fresh peach plucked from the tree. The peach has not been sliced open, and the sweetness is further contained by the significant greenness, summed up in the note hierarchy as "mown grass", which I interpret to mean "grass clippings". I myself do not find the green here to be as loud as the scent of just-mown grass--this is nothing like Robert Piguet FUTUR or any other grassy green perfume I've ever tried. Still, there is a greenishness, which I find to be about half-way between the scent of grass and that of hyacinth.
The flowers in PETITE CHERIE--to my nose, pink roses--are just as important as the peach and the green, but they, too, are gentle and blend in with the rest of the components to create a perfectly balanced perfume. Can there be a natural-smelling fruity-floral perfume? Apparently so, given the existence of PETITE CHERIE. (I should say, though, that this is very, very different from FERRE edp, which I recently reviewed and raved about as a sophisticated fruity-floral perfume.)
Despite the name, I do not find PETITE CHERIE to be juvenile in any way. It is friendly and has a sort of innocent or guileless quality to it, as there is nothing dirty or skanky whatsoever, and it's also not overly complicated. I find it endearing without being "cute". Perhaps the best expression to apply would simply be "effortlessly pretty". Think of a freshly washed face with the skin still moist from water and the cheeks slightly pink. That image matches my feelings about PETITE CHERIE.